UFC 63: Too Close to Call

Hughes-Penn II: Too Close to Call


The UFC announced that the time has come, and that the two fighters will square off again with the welterweight crown at stake at the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization’s UFC 63:

HUGHES vs. B.J. Penn taking place live from the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Saturday, September 23, 2006.

Hughes-Penn II: Too Close to Call

UFC fans all around the world have waited for these incredible athletes to face each other, once again, in the Octagon.

Matt Hughes (41-4) 5’9″/170 lbs., fighting out of Hillsboro, Ill., is considered by many to be the greatest welterweight champion in the history of the UFC. He started fighting in 1999, at UFC 22, and spent

two years climbing his way up the division. Finally, at UFC 34 (11/02/01) he won the UFC Welterweight Championship by defeating Carlos Newton by KO. From there, he won five consecutive fights, holding the title for three years before losing it to BJ Penn at UFC 46 (1/31/04), succumbing to a rear naked choke at 4:39 of the first round. Matt regained the vacant welterweight crown at UFC 50 (10/22/04) by stopping Georges St. Pierre with an arm bar at 4:59 of the first round, and defended his title at UFC 52 (4/16/06) against Frank Trigg, winning by a rear naked choke. He fought Joe Riggs at UFC 56 (11/19/05) in a non-championship bout and submitted him by Kimura at 3:28 of the first round. Hughes then defeated Royce Gracie by TKO at UFC 60 (5/27/06).

Penn’s career has been a storied one, beginning with his winning of the jiu-jitsu Mundials (he was the first non-Brazilian to do so) and his stirring UFC debut in 2001. Thought to be unbeatable, Penn would lose his first title shot to Jens Pulver, but his legend grew with the

upset win over Hughes in 2004, which came in his first fight at 170 pounds. After a contract dispute caused him to abandon the welterweight title, Penn stayed active and finally made a return to the Octagon in March against St. Pierre. Penn would lose a close split decision to the Canadian, but for the pride of Hilo, Hawaii, it was a wake-up call.

Complete UFC 63 Fight Card:

Heavyweight Match:

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mario Neto

(Preliminary Match)

Light Heavyweight Match:

Rashad Evans vs. Jason Lambert

Middleweight Match:

David Loiseau vs. Mike Swick

Welterweight Match:

Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn

(UFC Welterweight Title Match)

Lightweight Matches:

Joe Lauzon vs. Jens Pulver

Melvin Guillard vs. Gabe Ruediger

Danny Abaddi vs. Jorge Gurgel

(Preliminary Match)

Jason Dent vs. Roger Huerta

(Preliminary Match)

Tyson Griffin vs. David Lee

(Preliminary Match)

Event Name: UFC 63 – Hughes vs. Penn

Event Date: September 23, 2006

Event Venue: Arrowhead Pond Arena in Anaheim, California

Quick-Match Results:

-Tyson Griffin def. David Lee via Submission (rear naked choke) at 1:50 of Round 1.

-Jorge Gurgel def. Danny Abbadi via Split Decision after 3 Rounds.

-Eddie Sanchez def. Mario Neto via KO (punch) at 0:21 of Round 2.

-Roger Huerta def. Jason Dent via Unanimous Decision after 3 Rounds.

-Joe Lauzon def. Jens Pulver via TKO (punch) at 0:48 of Round 1.

-Rashad Evans def. Jason Lambert via KO (strikes) at 2:22 of Round 2.

-Melvin Guillard def. Gabe Ruediger via KO (punch) at 1:01 of Round 2.

-Mike Swick def. David Loiseau via Unanimous Decision after 3 Rounds.

-Matt Hughes def. B.J. Penn via TKO (strikes) at 3:53 of Round 3.

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